Brown's Bill Would Keep Clean Energy Jobs in U.S
More than 150 businesses across the country have endorsed U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown's "Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act," a bill to boost domestic clean energy manufacturing and ensure that new clean energy jobs stay in the United States, according to the Apollo Alliance.
Endorsers represent a broad spectrum of U.S. industry, including manufacturers, distributors, labor unions, and clean energy producers. In June, U.S. manufacturers continued to shed jobs at an alarming rate, accounting for nearly 30 percent of overall U.S. job losses. Though the stimulus and renewable energy policies being considered by Congress -- such as a Renewable Energy Standard and a carbon cap -- will generate unprecedented demand for clean energy parts and systems, 70 percent of America's clean and efficient energy systems are currently produced abroad.
"Without a program to support our own domestic manufacturers, policies that create new demand for clean energy will just lead to more imports," said Phil Angelides, chair of the Apollo Alliance. "A healthy manufacturing sector is the key to middle class growth in this country. The IMPACT Act will help millions of Americans find work in well-paying clean energy jobs and greatly reduce our dependence on other nations to meet our energy needs."
"We can revive American manufacturing through investment in clean energy," said Brown, (D-Ohio). Ohio has been hard-hit by the decline of the manufacturing sector. "This bill will help our manufacturers retool, put our auto suppliers back to work, and produce clean energy technologies."
The IMPACT Act would provide significant resources for small and medium-sized manufacturers through a 2-year, $30 billion manufacturing revolving loan fund, which will provide much needed liquidity for domestic firms to become more energy efficient, retool facilities, and retrain workers to produce clean energy products. The Apollo Alliance estimates that the IMPACT Act will generate more than $100 billion in revenue for clean energy businesses while creating 680,000 direct manufacturing jobs and nearly 2 million indirect jobs over five years.
Michael Peck, director of media, institutional and labor relations for Gamesa North America, one of the world's leading wind turbine manufacturers, said this of IMPACT: "Gamesa is proof of how wise green economy policies like the IMPACT Act can drive green economy investments, which in turn drive economic growth. Sustainable energy development represents a new way of doing business, and it serves as the perfect blueprint for rebuilding our economy, restoring our manufacturing heritage, and leading us to greater independence and security at home."
"Infinia is a unique solar and renewable energy technology company in that our supply chain consists almost entirely of retooled Midwestern auto supply companies," said Peter Brehm, vice president of business development for Washington state-based Infinia Corporation. "Our suppliers are a testament to the goal and promise of IMPACT: taking advantage of America's existing workforce and infrastructure to manufacture the components and systems of the clean energy economy."
The act also would provide the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a division of the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology, with $1.5 billion in federal funds over five years to help manufacturers access clean energy markets and adopt innovative, energy-efficient manufacturing technologies.
For the full list of IMPACT endorsers, visit apolloalliance.org.